Common Plume Emmelina monodactyla
Common Plume Emmelina monodactyla
Pupa • August. Caernarvonshire. • © Ian Smith

45.044 BF1524

Common Plume Emmelina monodactyla

(Linnaeus, 1758)

Wingspan 18-27 mm.

One of the commonest of the 'Plume' moths all over Britain, and one of the few to be found in the early part of the year, as the adults occur in all months.

Like most of the Pterophoridae, the wings are cleft or divided, but this can be difficult to see, as the moth often rests with the wings rolled up tightly. The wing colour is usually pale brownish, but can be darker. Each pair of spurs on the hind legs has one spur longer than the other. The abdomen has a pale buff dorsal longitudinal band with brown streaks along the midline.

It occurs in any suitable habitat where the larval foodplants, bindweeds (Convolvulus and Calystegia spp.), occur. Larvae have also been reported occasionally on Morning glory (Ipomoea), Chenopodium spp. and Atriplex spp. They feed in two overlapping generations on leaves and flowers from late May to September.

The larvae are greenish yellow with a broad green dorsal band, which has a fine discontinuous yellow line along its centre. The dorsal pinacula can be black, or coloured the same as the adjacent integument. Some specimens have ruby red dorsal markings.

The pupa varies from green to reddish, sometimes with black markings.

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